ryan the rancher sproul“It’s what I’ve always known…” Growing up on his family’s livestock operation, rancher Ryan Sproul (husband of AgCareers.com Education and Marketing Specialist, Kristi Sproul) was surrounded by immediate and extended family that made their living off the land and the cattle that grazed it. Ranching has been a part of him for as long as he can remember. Now, Ryan and Kristi own Sproul Livestock, raising commercial Red Angus cows in Northwestern Oklahoma.

 

What is a day in the life like for you?

 

There’s never a typical day! I also work a full-time job as a Field Representative for the United States Senate, so I balance this with the work needing to be done with the cattle. This often means the ranch work is done during early mornings, late nights and weekends. Our operation’s work load varies by season. During the summer we are slower, while winter and spring are consumed with feeding and calving.

 

What skills do you think that someone should possess to become a rancher?

 

Work ethic and commitment to the land and animals is most important. Also, being a jack of all trades. Somedays you’re a mechanic, the next a veterinarian and the next a livestock nutritionist.


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Published on November 20th, 2018

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livestock auctioneerSince a very young age, Clay Toews (husband of AgCareers.com Talent Solutions Sales Specialist, Kacey Toews) has had a strong passion for agriculture and livestock. He grew up going to sale barns across Kansas and ever since a young age, he knew he wanted to be an Auctioneer someday. Shortly after graduating High School, he pursued that passion and has been in the auction block ever since. He also gets the pleasure of serving many customers order buying livestock.

 

What is your title and how long have you worked as an auctioneer and order buyer?

 
I have been a Livestock Auctioneer and Order Buyer since 2011.

 

What made you want to become an auctioneer and order buyer?

 
Growing up in sale barns all over Kansas really spurred my passion for livestock and that way of life and I wanted to take part in the opportunity to bring stockman and buyers together behind the auction block and in front of it. I am lucky to be able to sell the animals and provide a service to my customers.


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Published on October 23rd, 2018

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veterinarianA Veterinarian is a very popular and exciting career path, especially for those with a passion for animals. Samantha Tepley has been a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) since June 2018. She shares a little bit about what life is like as a veterinarian in Eastern Iowa.

 

What made you want to become a veterinarian?

 

I have always wanted to be in the medical field. As I had exposure to the veterinary field through my own pets I realized that being a veterinarian was the perfect combination of my love for the medical field and my passion for animals. After I started working in veterinary clinics during my summer vacations I knew it was the perfect fit for me.

 

What is a day in the life like for you?

 

I start seeing patients at 8:30 AM. After I have 2-3 appointments in the morning I perform any surgeries that were scheduled for that day, those can be anything from a spay/neuter to a mass removal to a dental procedure. After the surgeries are done I spend the rest of my day seeing patients. Some of them are sick and need to be seen because they aren’t feeling well and some of them come in for yearly wellness exams, vaccinations and testing. On the really exciting days I get to perform emergency surgery somewhere in the day. I stop seeing patients at 5:30 PM but I may be at the clinic later than that if I am tending to sick hospitalized or surgery patients or if I have to come in to see an emergency after hours.


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Published on August 16th, 2018

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female managersNearly 47 percent of U.S. workers are female. Women own close to 10 million businesses. Almost 40 percent of all managers are women, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 2016. The majority of managers in human resources, social and community services, and education administration are female (bls.gov). Those are the statistics. Gender equality at work has been an important topic in workplaces, educational institutions, and the news. But what’s the perception of women in leadership roles? Do people prefer male or female managers? Let’s look at data that illustrates how this preference has changed over the years:

2010:
90% of Dr. Ella L. J. Edmondson Bell’s female Dartmouth MBA students said that they’d prefer a male manager.

 

2014:
GALLUP found that both genders still preferred a male boss in 2014; 26% of men and 39% of women said they’d prefer a male boss if they were taking a new job.


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Published on June 21st, 2018

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animal welfare specialistMeet SELRES_0.06106867207019939SELRES_0.8423662857099214Jason McAlister: Director of Animal Welfare at Triumph FoodsSELRES_0.8423662857099214SELRES_0.06106867207019939. He is also known as “The Pig Whisperer” to many in the industry. He started his career at a small local locker plant in Iowa and since then, has climbed the ladder to attain his role that he has today. Jason talks about how he got to where he is now and how to get started in the Animal Welfare industry.

 

What is your title and how long have you worked in your field?

 
My title is Director of Animal Welfare at Triumph Foods in St. Joseph, Missouri. I have been in the live harvest field since 1993 starting in a local locker plant in Gilbertville, Iowa to IBP and Tyson. I was recruited by Triumph Foods in 2007.

 

What made you want to become a Director of Animal Welfare?

 
I have a passion for learning and passing my knowledge on to those around me. Leadership is a family trait; my Grandfather was a General Foreman for Firestone Tires. My father and mother both were managers and naturally I do the same. I think this is where my passion for training others comes from.

 

What is a day in the life like for you?

 
The majority of my day is consumed with problem solving and interacting/training my employees. I start each day in the barns visiting with each employee followed by staff meetings and visiting support areas. I like to be seen in each department daily (HR, the clinic, employment, and accounting). Visits with these folks is sometimes required but mostly it is just team/relationship building when you depend on these teams to be successful it is important that they know you care about their needs and don’t just come around when you need something.


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Published on June 19th, 2018

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Rita Cook Ag Loan OfficerRita Cook always knew she wanted to work with farmers. She recently returned to her home county to work as an Ag Loan Officer in Iowa Falls, Iowa with Green Belt Bank & Trust where she has been for one year. Rita talks about what she has learned in her first year of work as an ag loan officer and her advice for those interested in the career path.

 

What made you want to become an ag loan officer?

 

I grew up on a diversified grain and livestock farm in Iowa, and knew I wanted to work hands-on with farmers to help them be successful. The bank had an opening for an ag lender. It was a perfect fit to combine my passion of helping farmers with lending.

 

What is a day in the life like for you?

 

A lot of days are spent meeting with customers or visiting with them on the phone. I work with customers to update their balance sheets, put together projected cash flows for the coming year, and then analyze those numbers. Once the analysis is done, I present the customer’s request to our internal loan review committee for approval. There’s a lot of leg work that goes on behind the scenes, especially if a farmer is purchasing farm ground or a putting up a livestock barn.


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Published on May 3rd, 2018

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best agriculture podcastsI talk about podcasts a lot. I am fascinated by the creativity, wide topic range and knowledge that is offered through this medium. Maybe you share my excitement, or perhaps you haven’t yet subscribed because you’re not sure where to start or haven’t found any that interest you. There are seemingly thousands of podcasts available and to be honest, some aren’t that great. So, when I find a good series to follow I am eager to share with others! Below are my current favorite agriculture podcasts:

 

Keeping Ag Real hosted by Jenny Schweigert – I recently found this series and have really enjoyed the variation of length (as short as 12 minutes or as long as 45 minutes) as well as the diversity of topics. Jenny tackles all sectors of the industry, even the challenges, while bringing in outside perspectives.


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Published on March 20th, 2018

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jobs in agriculture that didn't exist 20 years agoAs a 26-year-old, it’s crazy for me to say that I remember what the agricultural landscape looked like 20 years ago. I grew up on a small hog, soybean, and corn operation in northern Iowa where, at age six, our first desktop computer with the brick maze screensaver was cutting-edge and we could not fathom how technology could and would impact the agricultural industry as we knew it. Today, we’re fortunate that, like the world around us, agriculture has become incredibly advanced and we’re able to multiply production to better feed and fuel the world. And while it’s popular to assume that technology is diminishing agricultural roles of the past, it has also created a vast number of new jobs in agriculture that previously did not exist. Here are four jobs in agriculture I can safely say did not exist twenty years ago:

 

Precision Agriculture Specialist: This role may be what first comes to your mind when considering new jobs in agriculture. Precision ag workers build and work with precision agriculture technologies to improve and collect data around the planting and harvesting of crops.

 

Geospatial Analytics Scientist: GPS is helpful for more than just finding your way out of a city. These agriculturalists use GPS in precision agriculture capacities and more. Drones are popular tools utilized by geospatial analytics scientists.


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Published on January 30th, 2018

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grain merchandising educationTextbooks are great, don’t get me wrong. In fact, if you’re currently participating in one of White Commercial Corporation’s basis trading courses there’s a very good chance that you are also using our textbook The Art of Grain Merchandising. The thing with textbooks is that they aren’t particularly well suited to interacting with you the way your future customer or co-worker will once you enter the field. While you certainly can learn the underlying structures and functions of the grain marketing industry in college, here are four items you need to know that aren’t found in any textbook or class.

 

What They Don’t Teach You in College About Grain Merchandising

 

1) We are in the relationship business, we just happen to trade grain – You can (and should) become the expert for your regional grain market, but if you can’t interact effectively with others in the marketplace (farmers and end users) you will find that no amount of expertise will make you successful in the long run. Lesson: You merchandise with the people, not the bushels.


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Published on October 5th, 2017

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401(k) for beginnersUnless you have a finance degree, the topics of a 401l(k) and investing are generally tedious topics for most folks. Learning about some of the key terms can make the topic a little easier to digest. While I am not a financial advisor and do not aim to give financial advice for investing in a 401(k), the only qualifying tip that I can give is that the earlier you start investing, the more prepared for retirement you’ll be.

 

401(k): A Crash Course

 
What is a 401(k)? The name 401(k) is derived from the Internal Revenue Code, section 401, subsection k, which talks about qualified pension plans. A 401 (k) is a pre-tax account that allows you to set aside money on a tax-free basis. Though note you will have to pay taxes on the money once you take the money out. In 2017, the IRS set the contribution limits to $18,000 per year and those age 50 or older may contribute an additional $6,00 per year.


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Published on September 22nd, 2017

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